Storm Ciara has taken its toll on today’s Rugby League programme, across three competitions – with implications that will also affect next weekend’s opening round of matches in Betfred League 1.
Both Betfred Super League fixtures that were scheduled for West Yorkshire on Sunday afternoon – Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos, and Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons – were postponed because of a combination of heavy rain and strong winds.
The Wakefield-Catalans game may be rearranged for Monday night, although Wakefield’s chief executive Michael Carter has stressed that would only be possible if the weather improves. No date has yet been suggested for Huddersfield-Leeds, with the clubs entitled to wait until later in the season.
In the Betfred Championship, three of the five matches scheduled for Sunday afternoon – at Featherstone, Swinton and York – have also been postponed, again with dates to be finalised later in the season.
As things stand the fixtures between London Broncos and Whitehaven, and Widnes Vikings versus Batley Bulldogs, are due to go ahead.
There will be two matches at Ealing Trailfinders as the Broncos will also face St Helens in their first home game in the revived RFL Reserves Championship.
In the Third Round of the Coral Challenge Cup, four of the six ties scheduled for Sunday afternoon have been postponed – and in all cases, are likely to be rearranged for next Sunday afternoon (February 16).
The four fixtures involved are: Barrow Raiders v London Skolars; Keighley Cougars v Newcastle Thunder; Rochdale Hornets v York Acorn; and Workington Town v West Bowling.
That means those eight teams will all go into the hat for the Fourth Round draw on Monday evening at The Shay in Halifax, along with the 13 English clubs in the Betfred Championship, and the five winners of Saturday’s Third Round ties – North Wales Crusaders and Doncaster of Betfred League 1; Siddal and Leigh Miners Rangers of the National Conference League; and, for the first time in their history, the British Army, who claimed a famous victory over Ince Rose Bridge in front of the Our League cameras.
It also means four of next weekend’s five Betfred League 1 fixtures will have to be rearranged – Newcastle v West Wales, Coventry v Rochdale, Keighley v Hunslet and Workington v London Skolars. That will leave the stage clear for North Wales Crusaders and Doncaster to kick off the season with a stand-alone fixture.
The Fourth Round Coral Challenge Cup draw will be broadcast live on BBC Sport from 630pm.
Hats off to Hunslet and West Wales, whose home ties against Coventry Bears and Underbank Rangers have been cleared to go ahead – in the case of West Wales, averting a logistical nightmare for their Underbank visitors who had made the lengthy journey from their Holmfirth base on Saturday.